Wednesday, March 22, 2017

NCAA TOURNEY RECAP TO DATE AND UPDATE ON PLANS

Currently in Kerrville TX (Low 60 Patchy Low Clouds and Fog Giving Way to Sun High 79)

Bob has had an up and down NCAA Tourney so far. After a great 15-1 start on Thursday he was 10-6 on Friday. On Saturday and Sunday he only got 7 right out of 16. Added to that the Iowa State Cyclones lost their Saturday game and did not advance to the Sweet 16. He does have 2 remaining in the Final 4 and his National Champion, Arizona, is still alive. Even with all this it has been a fun tourney.




After 2 and a 1/2 months in Kerrville we will be heading out the end of the month. We have to be back in mid-September so it will be a short trip up to Colorado via Albuquerque and then to the Kansas City area then back down to Kerrville.

While here we went to a wildflower farm which we will blog about later. Until then here is a closeup of some bluebonnets.



Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, March 17, 2017

BOB'S BRACKET AFTER DAY 1 OF MARCH MADNESS

Currently in Kerrville TX (Low 60 Partly Sunny and Pleasant High 80) 

"12 Hours, 16 Games, Sore Butt" that's how Bob described yesterday.

Beginning with an 11:15 a.m. Central time tipoff between Princeton and Notre Dame and ending with Nevada versus Iowa State, Bob watched 16 ball games yesterday on four networks.


Bob was correct on all 8 games for the afternoon session on the ESPN Tournament Challenge. For the evening session he was correct on 7 games, including correctly picking Iowa State (his alma mater) to beat Nevada. 15-1 is the best Bob has ever done, currently in the 99.2 percentile.

A couple of observations. Bob noticed a difference watching the games in the Central Daylight Timezone. When we are in Goodyear, in a state that does not abide by daylight savings time, the games start 2 hours earlier but more importantly, end 2 hours earlier. The last game ended last night at about 11:00 p.m. so Bob didn't wind down until about midnight. Winding down at 10p is easier for sure.

Even with a sore butt March Madness is the best sports time of the year. There weren't any buzzer beaters and only a couple of upsets, one in the afternoon session with a 12 (Middle Tennessee) beating a 5 seed (Minnesota). The evening session upsets includes Xavier (11) over Maryland (6).

One other thing we noticed is that the commercials for March Madness are much, much better than the ones we saw for the Super Bowl. The Capital One commercials with Charles Barkley, Samuel L. Jackson and Spike Lee were very funny. The Navy Federal Credit Union commercial was also very good. There were also a lot of Jersey Mike commercials and they do have great subs.

Bob does it all again today, 16 games in 12 hours beginning with Oklahoma State versus Michigan, probably one of the more entertaining games of the day. He doubts he will do as well as he did today but time, and a sore butt, will tell.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, March 16, 2017

IT'S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR AGAIN - MARCH MADNESS

Currently in Kerrville TX (Low 57 Morning Mist then Mostly Cloudy High 75) 

Jo deserves a lot of sympathy all of the time considering whom she is married to :-)

But this time of the year, NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, aka March Madness, Jo needs a whole lot more sympathy.


Bob spends 12 hours in front of the TV watching as much as four games at one time on Thursday and Friday for a total of 32 games over those two days. It does get better on Saturday and Sunday as there are only 16 games total. The games are spread out over four television networks, CBS, TruTV, TBS, TNT.



So be thinking about poor Jo these next four days.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

WE SAW 'THE SHACK'

Currently in Kerrville TX (Low 58 Breezy and Cloudy with some Sun High 79) 

We saw another movie while in Kerrville, this time we saw "The Shack".


If you are expecting a theologically correct movie then "The Shack" is not the movie for you. This is a work of fiction after all. If you can overcome this, and a movie that does does drag in spots, you are going to see a movie with some interesting spiritual overtones. On the surface the main character, Mack a church going husband and father, has a model life with a loving wife and 3 kids. Beneath the surface was a troubled childhood followed by another tragedy causes Mack to question in his believe and trust in God.

Getting an invitation from God to spend the weekend at "The Shack" at first Mack is reluctant to go but at last relents. What follows is a weekend full of symbolism, forgiveness and reconciliation. Whether the visit actually occurs or just in the mind you'll not find out but it does not matter.

This is a movie that probably isn't for everyone and is slow in some spots so it is difficult to give this a recommendation.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, March 10, 2017

WE SAW "LOGAN"

Currently in Kerrville TX (Low 60 Cloudy with a Thunderstorm High 78) 

We saw another movie based on Marvel comic book characters, this time "Logan". 


Set in the future after a cataclysmic event that finds Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Wolverine aka Logan (Hugh Jackman) as one of the few remaining mutants. There is a sense of finality with this movie for the X-Men, first cast in the movies in 2000. There was a time travel reboot that sets up a younger cast so future X-Men movies will probably feature them.

In this movie both Logan and the professor are ailing but they have enough left for one last adventure. A eugenics type experiment to create better and more controllable mutants for super soldiers goes terribly wrong. Don't they always? Logan finds out there is a young girl with wolverine-type claws. At first Logan wants nothing to do with his girl but with sinister thugs chasing her he gets drawn in to this adventure while discovering an amazing fact about the girl.

The movie has an R rating and thus has a little too much swearing and graphic violence (Jo says way too much) but it is a fitting end to the X-Men (old farts) series, or at least for Wolverine. If you like Marvel and movies based on comic book characters this one is for you. If you don't like comic book movies, but do like character driven stories where the main character is confronting his own mortality with an excellent performance by Hugh Jackman, then "Logan" might be for you.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Sunday, March 5, 2017

WHY ESCAPEES SMARTWEIGH

Currently in Kerrville TX (Low 48 Mostly Cloudy and Warmer High 67

When we got our new Lifestyle fifth wheel in February of 2015 we noticed the official cargo carrying capacity listed on the sticker on the unit was about 1000 pounds less than listed on the brochure. This got Bob worried so we decided to get our new RV weighed. We went with the Escapees SmartWeigh program at North Ranch in Congress Arizona. 



Under any circumstances getting your RV weighed is a good idea. From the Escapees website, SmartWeigh program administrator Neil LeKander indicates, "There are many reasons why you should not overload your RV, but four stand out as being of greatest concern:" 

  • First, the reliability and durability of the RV will be greatly diminished as a direct result of our demanding that it do more work than it was designed for.
  • Second, the personal safety of the RVers, their passengers, as well as others on the road, will be in jeopardy.
  • Third, any warranty coverage for what is likely the second largest purchase ever by the RVer may be lost.
  • Finally, and probably most importantly, the legal and financial liability of operating the RV beyond the federal and manufacturer's limitations is more than most RVers are willing to accept.
"In the past, it has never been easy to resolve these issues, but now, with the introduction of SmartWeigh, the process has gotten much simpler, so why not do it right and do it now."

We have to agree that it is pretty simple. We setup an appointment and met George in parking lot on the way in. We chose SmartWeigh because it is comprehensive by weighing all the axles, first with the RV and truck tethered and then the truck separately. We wish we would have taken our own photos, we borrowed this one from the web.



You could go to a truck scales but that would just be the total weight. By doing each axle we found that the weight is shifted to one side. This is mostly due to the all the heavy stuff (refrigerator, stove, cabinets, etc.) being on one side. Predictably that was the side we were overweight 30 pounds on one axle and 50 pounds on the other. The good news is that we were a couple hundred pounds light on the other side so all we have to do is shift some things in the Lifestyle and we are good.

The truck was a little bit overweight too but we had all of our books to read, miscellaneous stuff and a full auxiliary fuel tank. All that means it will be easy to shed the pounds from the truck too. Not only did we get that weight info we also got the tongue weight which was within safe limits too. Additionally we got information on the correct pressure for all the tires with the weight. Bob had them set correctly and monitored with the TST 507 TPMS system that we got from our friends Dutch and Di at PlugItRight.com. Finally the true overall height of the Lifestyle was measured. George recommended that we set our GPS' to a height of 13'8" which is 6" higher than was measured.

With factual data we now know that we won't need the expensive axle upgrades that Bob feared that we would need. This makes us very happy.

We think that every RV should be weighed at least once so add that to our list of tips for those considering RV'ng.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, March 2, 2017

"THE COMING KING" SCULPTURE PRAYER GARDENS IN KERRVILLE TEXAS

Currently in Kerrville TX (Low 35 Plenty of Sunshine High 64) 

Driving around Kerrville Texas you cannot help but notice this empty cross high on the hill overlooking Kerrville. So after Ash Wednesday Mass and lunch we decided to visit.


A local sculpturer and a foundation setup to build the sculpture prayer gardens had quite a battle with atheists and others who were in opposition. A lawsuit was filed but settled after a 9 year battle so that work could begin. The first thing installed was the empty cross in 2010.

In addition to the 77’7” contemporary sculpture called “The Empty Cross” there are seven other sculptures that can also be viewed at this location. There is a path throughout the garden, called the “Path To Heaven” consisting of 77 Bible verses, in multiple languages, to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Here is an example of the scripture tile.



Other sculptures.







As you can see here there is a lot more that is planned.



Although the work has just begun it still was neat to visit. We did have a GPS glitch that took us the wrong way but we eventually found it. It was windy and a little chilly, Jo wished she had her jacket. This site will be similar to Crazy Horse in South Dakota. You can come by every few years and check on the progress.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

CATCHING UP - MODEL TRAIN SHOW IN MESA

Currently in Kerrville TX (Low 58 Cloudy Rainy early then Sunny High 76) 

Catching up on our recent stay in Goodyear Arizona. We are always in search of indoor activities since it is so hot. We recently went to the Mesa Public Library to a model train exhibit put on by the Arizona Big Train Operators. With G-scale model trains and scenery it was pretty neat. We especially like the cars parked next to the tracks. Here are some photos.


There were some themed areas, Winslow Arizona (see the cars)



'Standing on the Corner in Winslow Arizona' 


Holbrook Arizona.


ATSF - Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe
 

 More Photos










We had a great time.


We have completed a number of initial appointments with our new doctors in the Hill Country. There has been some delay with the new pain center for Jo and the urologist for Bob that we hope to resolve soon. Because of the uncertainty we still don't know exactly when we are leaving.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

HILL COUNTRY INTERIM FOODIE REPORT

Currently in Kerrville TX (Low 38 Sunny and VERY Warm High 88) 

An interim Hill Country Foodie report. We start out with 'Billy Gene's' since it was on our list and also listed by Mike Mills from his 'Phannie and Mae' blog. The catfish here is real good. There are other things on the menu we want to try.


In the 1915 fully restored historic railroad depot is 'Rails - A Cafe at the Depot'. Although the food is terrific the best things on the menu might be the desserts. The bison burger Bob had was one of the best he has had. Wild mushroom quesadillas are also recommended. Everything we have had there is great. Another chapter in the "it's a small world after all" is that the son of the owners of Rails played football at Iowa State. Bob was wearing his Iowa State t-shirt and the owner came over and talked with us when he saw the shirt.


'Bill's BBQ' (Where The Bull Goes On Forever) served us probably the best brisket we have ever had, and that includes anywhere in Kansas City and at various Rudy's BBQ locations. Not for everyone but this place also serves cabrito (goat). Bob had to try it as did Jo and we agreed it was not one of our favorites. But the brisket is worth the trip.


'Pho Mosa' satisfies our new found craving for pho. Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, rice noodles called bánh phở, a few herbs, and meat or seafood, served in a large bowl. This is a Vietnamese and Chinese Restaurant, so far the only chinese dish that we have tried is mu shu. We have been searching for good mu shu since our favorite place in Grandview Missouri closed and this mu shu is as good, or maybe even better. Here is a photo of pho.


We went to 'Lafours Seafood' mainly because we kept driving by and there was always a crowd there. We are so glad that we did. Jo is picky on her gumbo and 'Lafours' has a gumbo that she liked. The grilled fish was not too spicy and not too hot, the grilled onions on top were a hit. The salad is from a bag and the green beans are from a can but that does not take away from how good this place is. The owner stopped by our table and we had the nicest chat.


Sunset Grille in nearby Fredericksburg has one of the best eggs benedict dishes we have ever had, the smoked salmon benedict. The crab cakes and seafood omelets are also amazing. It is breakfast-lunch place but so far we have only been able to eat breakfast.


We have a few more on our list to try and will report on them later if they pass the muster, assuming of course that we don't keep eating at these great spots.

Till  next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

CATCHING UP - WILL ROGERS MEMORIAL IN CLAREMORE OKLAHOMA

Currently in Kerrville TX (Low 41 Plenty of Sun High 79)

Recently while we were in Claremore Oklahoma we visited the Will Rogers Memorial. Here is an exterior view from the web.


Will Rogers was born nearby in what was Indian Territory in 1879. An expert cowboy and rope trick artist he started out in Vaudeville. Then it was on to the Ziegfield Follies. From there it seemed there was nothing that Will Rogers was not involved in. He starred in silent movies then talkies while also writing a daily newspaper column. Tragically Will Rogers was killed in an airplane crash in Alaska in 1935 and buried in California where he lived at the time.

After much discussion as to the location of the memorial it was decided that Claremore would be the site on property purchased by the family about 20 years earlier. This is what greets you at the entrance.


We first saw a great documentary in the theater. When that was completed a storyteller took the stage and told some of the history and did some rope tricks that Will Rogers was famous for.


Some interior views.




A copy of the statue that is in the National Statuary in Washington DC.


We really liked the chandelier above the statue.


As mentioned before Will Rogers was originally buried in California in 1935. In 1942 his body was moved to Claremore. He was joined by his wife in 1944 and various family members since then.




 judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/w/will_rogers.html
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/w/will_rogers.html
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/willrogers411692.html
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/willrogers411692.html
We'll end with a couple of our favorite quotes that are still relevant these days.

"Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment."

"Do the best you can, and don't take life too seriously."

"Never blame a legislative body for not doing something. When they do nothing, they don't hurt anybody. When they do something is when they become dangerous."

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, February 20, 2017

CATCHING UP - REVIEW OF WILL ROGERS KOA IN CLAREMORE OKLAHOMA

Currently in Kerrville TX (Low 52 Morning Rain then Clearing High 74)

Catching up on our recent stay in Claremore Oklahoma. We really liked Will Rogers KOA in Claremore OK. We chose Claremore to be honest due to the length of travel. We would now come back just to be at this park.

The park had easy access off of the Highway from the Turnpike. The roads and sites were gravel. We had a long pull thru and the hookups, except for the sewer hookup, were convenient. The sewer hookup was one of those that were elevated too far above the ground creating less than desirable drainage. We had good line of sight for our roof mounted satellite dish.

The main draw was how close we were to the race track. Here is a shot from the our rear window.


Loading the horses for the race.


And they're off!!


Here is the Lifestyle from the front.


To the right towards the Grandstand.


To the left.


From the rear.


As mentioned before, we would stay here again.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo